The real estate market is fiercely competitive, and one of the best ways to differentiate yourself is to have a cache of stellar reviews in multiple places so consumers can find you. Success requires a solid reputation, and getting positive reviews is key to surviving in this business.
When to ask for your reviews
Many agents think the best time to approach their clients for a review is right after the close. It is not, so don’t make this error. As happy as they may be to finalize the deal and to enjoy their new home, they most likely won’t have the time to write one up for you. They will be busy with the move and preoccupied until they get settled. Do it before the close! Better yet, when they are at their happiest — when it clears escrow, the remaining earnest money is in and the deal looks like it’s going to make it to the finish line. They are excited to own a new home, and they are grateful to you for your efforts. Plus, they will have more time as they wait until the day of their close.
Where reviews are most important
The most important sites for your reviews to be seen by consumers are:
These are where most consumers go when they are looking for the right agent.
The problem with gathering reviews
Most require their own forms that must be sent directly to your client to protect the integrity of the reviews. Some even require that the review be tied to a specific transaction and verified to ensure its legitimacy. This is understandable to prevent fraudulent reviews, both positive and negative. However, this means that many links must be sent and redundant forms must be filled out by your clients when it’s hard enough to get them to do just one! The client may not want to be bothered. You may get only one review that is good for only one site. The others get left out, and your “stellar” review (and you) get missed.
The good news is that there are sites that can streamline the process for you! This will save you and your clients time. They are one-stop portals that require just one form to be filled out, and then the most important sites are auto-populated. Two to consider: RateMyAgent and Testimonial Tree.
RateMyAgent is a digital marketing and agent review platform for Realtors to gather, promote and share potential clients’ feedback and reviews.
How it works
RateMyAgent enables you to publish past reviews and requests new ones from buyers or sellers. Additionally, each review is instantly connected to the associated property transaction, letting buyers and sellers know they are legit. Once your reviews are up, you can publish them on your website or social media accounts to promote yourself.
RateMyAgent is one of the easiest review platforms for Realtors and their clients. With just a single click, potential clients can check your local reputation and reviews, keeping you in the forefront of their minds.
Benefits of RateMyAgent
• All of your feedback in one place
• A simple experience for your clients
• No registration required to post a review
• A single request across many platforms
• Secure personal data
RateMyAgent offers both free and subscription plans for its users. The price for paid plans ranges from $16 monthly to $1,500 annually.
2. Testimonial Tree
Testimonial Tree is a web-based service that offers review management through gathering, storing, filtering and sharing testimonials. It is one of the most prominent online reputation management companies.
How it works
Testimonial Tree makes it simple to gather client reviews and post the most inspiring ones on your website, your social media and review sites like Yelp.
Benefits of Testimonial Tree
• Easy to use
• Get reviews in one place
• Produces quick results
• Excellent customer service
Testimonial Tree charges between $30 and $300 per month. However, it offers a 30-day free trial.
Comparison of RateMyAgent vs. Testimonial Tree
Both RateMyAgent and Testimonial Tree tout their ability to help your business expand by using real estate testimonials or reviews as a springboard. Still, with so many comparable features, it can be challenging to choose between the two services.
Both offer API integration services, allowing you to access your profile listings, statistical data and reviews, and integrate them with a third-party website. This makes the whole process a lot easier.
Your reputation directly influences your bottom line. Having your reviews on the most important sites is a must. Using these portals to gather reviews not only will be easier for your clients and save you time, but also will allow you a greater online presence and more business! More business means more commissions, and who wouldn’t want that?
Anne Ewasko is a veteran Realtor in the Chicago area and a longtime techie. Visit her at anne.luxhomechicago.com.